Killer Keywords for Your Resume

If you’ve been on the job hunt before, you may have heard of keywords and ATS. Keywords are buzz words for your resume to really show an employer what you’ve got to offer. Some companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (or ATS) to scan keywords in applications. There’s no need to fear – just make sure you are using your killer keywords in your applications. The key to this is using buzzwords that the employer actually cares about. Not just including words that you think sound good.

There are still a ton of companies who don’t use this and have real live humans reading through your resume. In this case, you still want those keywords. As you’ve likely heard, employers will only spend a few seconds reading through a resume. You need to grab their attention with strong keywords and statements so they will want to keep reading.

How to Use Keywords in Your Resume

Your keywords are obviously going to change depending on your industry, skills, and what the employer is looking for. You should also change these up based on what each job posting entails. Yes, this does take a lot of time. Grabbing the readers attention by starting off your bullet points of duties/achievements with action verbs is the first step. These are words like initiated, facilitated, implemented, collaborated, designed, and countless others. This describes your action, but these aren’t your keywords. No employer will be doing a search based off of those words. They will be looking for the very specific skills that the position requires. The employer may be looking for someone with project management, customer service or Excel skills for example. Keywords will usually include technical skills needed for a job, rather than just soft skills.

Types of Keywords

Keywords may be found in your skills, competences, previous positions, academics and credentials. ATS software should be able to quickly pick up keywords that are required for the job. They should also be words that will be easily picked up by someone actually reading your resume. By picking up those keywords, the employer will see that you have the necessary skills.

Next time you are polishing up your resume, take note of your keywords. Make sure you have those killer keywords throughout your resume so you are sure to impress!

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